“I really enjoyed the presentation About-Face gave [my group],
and it was probably one of the first times I ever felt positive about myself.”
— Priya, age 16
About-Face Education Into Action media-literacy workshops take a spirited, sassy, and informative approach to teaching students and other groups how to “read” and process the media messages they see every day. AND they deliver results in the form of improved body satisfaction, self-esteem, and critical-thinking skills.
About-Face workshops equip young women and men with concrete, systematized tools to understand representations of gender in media and resist negative messages about their body image, identity, and self-esteem. We’ve been successfully leading workshops in the San Francisco Bay Area since 1998.
Find out what Josh Zimmerman of Ida B. Wells High School thought of the About-Face workshop. (44 sec.)
How they work
Workshops are available for young women and men ages 13 and up (7th grade and up) in either girls’ groups or mixed-gender settings in classrooms, at conferences, and for nonprofit and community groups. We will send one of ten trained workshop leaders to work with your group. (We are also hoping to train 30 more community workshop leaders throughout the San Francisco Bay Area in 2013.) Our workshops are between 50 and 90 minutes, and we limit the number of participants to 35 per workshop.
Our workshops and programs can take the following forms for your group.
- One session in a community setting such as a public library, including students from multiple schools.
- Four sessions in a school setting: The same content for each class, a four-part module, or any other combination.
- Eight sessions in an after-school or weekend setting for teens, culminating in a teen-created action.
About-Face Education Into Action workshops are:
- Guided, not lecturing: We don’t tell kids and adults what to think, but instead let them develop their own thoughts. Our questioning process is very similar to the Socratic method of inquiry.
- Interactive: We provide discussion time and opportunities to process what each person is experiencing, and to hear everyone’s voice.
- Appealing to teen audiences: We center workshops on dynamic media, such as TV and movie clips, web sites, and images from magazines.
- Action-oriented and positive: We leave participants inspired to make change, not feeling hopeless.
- Sassy and edgy: We use humor, making the workshops feel like fun, not like a boring class.
The majority of About-Face workshops are delivered in the San Francisco Bay Area. We’re sorry, but we cannot accommodate requests for workshops outside of our area at this time. In the future, we hope to train workshop leaders via webinar.
Results and outcomes
In a recent study of 1,267 of our workshop participants:
- Participants showed an increase in self-esteem one month after the workshop.
- Participants (especially girls) reported stronger critical thinking about media after the workshop.
- Most students were not as influenced by celebrities, sports figures, and people on TV after the workshop.
Let us know you’re interested
Step one: Click here to fill out our interest form.
At this time, we are working with groups, schools, organizations, and our donors to co-fund our workshops. To start the process, let us know you’d like About-Face media-literacy workshops for your organization, or event. While we may not be able to accommodate you right away, we will work toward funding your workshops.
We look forward to meeting you and working with your class or group!